With fewer in-person networking events and social gatherings, putting extra effort into your database building has never been more important. Your database is the nucleus of your small business; the more it grows, the more successful you will be.

To help you double down, here are eight ways to build your database during COVID-19 and throughout the winter months.

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1. Host a creative seminar.

Grow your database by creatively solving people’s problems. This works in every industry, but especially in real estate. What are people struggling with right now? One example could be whether or not they should sell during the pandemic. You could host a virtual seminar to deliver all the answers and real estate solutions people need in one place. Every signup can then be funnelled into your database.

2. Plan client appreciation events.

People spend less time outdoors in the winter, so now is the time to get really familiar with hosting virtual events. And, since your event costs are lower for virtual events, you can invite more people. Consider something creative like asking a local chef to teach a cooking class. Each person who signs up is allowed three guests, all of whom should be entered into your database.

3. Feature a small business of the week.

When you work in conjunction with other small businesses, you get exposed to their networks. Consider doing a feature on your social media each week for a small business. Let them take over your Instagram and you take over theirs. Plan a virtual event together. Collaboration is key to database building.

4. Use Facebook for farming events.

Nearly every neighbourhood has a Facebook community group. These groups are amazing places for you to solve problems, make connections and grow your database. Plan a community skate night or a Tim Hortons night. Introduce members to local businesses that solve a problem they’re having. If you’re a door-knocker, these groups are for you.

5. Make the most of LinkedIn.

Most people on LinkedIn are serious about business. Access your connections’ networks by holding LinkedIn business networking nights or business book masterminds. These are great ways to virtually meet new people and expand your network. Just make sure you transfer new LinkedIn connections into your database.

6. Volunteer with local charities.

Like businesses, charities have been hit especially hard during the pandemic. Why not volunteer your time while building your database? Organize a food drive and personally thank each person that contributes (and add them to your list). Or, volunteer your time and add your fellow volunteers to your list. You could even fundraise for the charity with one of your events.

7. Create a small networking group.

Zoom is an amazing platform for so many reasons, and some of its unique features are perfect for database building. Consider hosting a business networking speed-dating event using Zoom’s rooms. Host the event weekly so you have different people showing up each time. Ensure each person signs up with their contact info so you don’t miss an opportunity to connect.

8. Clean up your existing database.

This is the most important tip on this list for growing your database. Like most people, you likely have some amazing opportunities already in your cell phone, Facebook feed and credit card statement waiting to be tapped into. Make sure every person you call or message (including your hairstylist, your dentist and your vet) are in your database. Bonus points for centralizing your database in one place, on one platform.

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